Conor McGregor might have headlined the biggest pay-per-view event in UFC history at UFC 229 but, after his recent altercation with a man at a bar in his hometown of Dublin, fans and fighters have started to question the Irishman’s reputation as a household name.
Former UFC heavyweight turned podcast host Brendan Schaub believes fans have turned against McGregor and jumped on the Nate Diaz bandwagon, and now-retired UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping echoed those same sentiments on a recent edition of his Believe You Me podcast.
In fact, Bisping went as far as to state that McGregor would be the ‘B-side’ in a possible Diaz trilogy bout.
“I’d say a bigger fight right now, well maybe not bigger, but to a casual fan I don’t know Masvidal’s pretty big right now,” Bisping said, per BJPenn.com “Look at what he just did.”
“Conor would be the B-side in that fight right now,” Bisping added. “In terms of popularity, I don’t know I think Diaz may have surpassed him. He played that perfectly. He took three years away from the sport, came back, didn’t get the push from the UFC. [He] kinda like went up against the UFC. He was kinda that guy and came out on top. He won that battle. He was sensational, the fight was fantastic. The performance was great, he handled himself in a way that people love. He’s real, he’s authentic.”
Diaz and McGregor are currently tied at 1-1, with Diaz submitting McGregor at UFC 196 and ‘The Notorious’ avenging the rematch with a majority decision win at UFC 202.
Although it is a little premature to begin questioning McGregor’s drawing power in the UFC, there’s no doubt that Diaz has become an immensely popular fighter since both fights with McGregor in 2016. Diaz was trending at #1 on YouTube in the immediate aftermath of his unanimous decision win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 and the Stockton local has a whopping 3.3 million followers on Instagram and 1.3 million followers on Twitter.
Diaz called out Masvidal in his UFC 241 post-fight interview, and both men seem eager to fight by the end of the year.